Advocating for Refugees

As we often talk about justice in our studies, I am thankful that Campus Edge is connected to a denomination that cares deeply about speaking up for the marginalized. The Christian Reformed Church recently released an official statement about (the lack of) admission of refugees to the United States. The following are highlights of that statement:

 “We identify the proposed drastic cuts to the refugee resettlement program in the U.S. as a critical moment for the voice of the church. . .

Caring for refugees is a central issue of our faith, rooted in Scripture. We are commanded to welcome the stranger (Deut 10:19, Lev 19:34, Ex 23:9), to love our neighbor (Mk 12:31), to seek justice (Micah 6:8), and to come alongside the vulnerable (Psalm 82:3). We are called to hospitality both in order to give of our resources, and also to receive blessings (Heb 13:2). We are told that the presence of our Savior, Jesus, can be hidden the face of the stranger. (Matt 25:35). . .

Synod was particularly clear about the CRC’s commitment to refugee and immigrants in 2010, resolving that “God’s Word consistently directs the people of God to be welcoming toward the strangers in their midst and to extend special care to those most vulnerable to social or economic conditions that threaten their ability to survive.” It also called members of the church to advocate with government representatives for just policies, saying “…citizenship in the kingdom of God obligates believers to the highest law of love for God and neighbor above all, and the exercise of this love should lead believers to advocate for laws that will mandate the just and humane treatment of immigrant peoples.” . . .

We are grieved by that which stands in the way of our church’s calling, in particular, these further cuts to refugee resettlement.

  • We are deeply concerned about an emerging pattern of U.S. policies which are harming immigrant communities — for example, revoking legal pathways to immigration, restricting the definition of asylum, cutting refugee admissions and more.
  • We lament the thousands of vulnerable citizens who will remain in refugee camps for far too long, exposed to further violence and trauma, because of these reductions.
  • We grieve that this may impact the policies of other nations. After decades of receiving upwards of 75,000-100,000 refugees, this cut in the U.S. threatens to lead other countries to follow suit.”

Possible actions, including prayer, can be found on the CRC website.

A prayer for our world

In light of everything that has happened in the last weeks, the following is a response from the leadership of the Christian Reformed Church:

Earlier this year, an estimated 20 million people were already living on the brink of starvation in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria. In August and September, hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria tore through the Caribbean and the United States, causing untold damage. As hurricane recovery began, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico killed more than 300 people and left 6,000 injured. Soon after, we heard about the plight of Rohingya refugees who were being massacred in Myanmar and were forced to flee for Bangladesh. And more recently, we were faced with news of a terrible attack on the streets of Edmonton, a horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, and raging wildfires in California.

These are just a handful of the hurts taking place in our world right now. There are also daily acts of racism and injustice, persecution of people because of their faith, and ongoing discrimination against people with disabilities.

Our hearts are heavy as we consider all of this suffering. The sheer scope and scale of need can overwhelm us and leave us feeling helpless to respond. Yet, even in times of immense darkness and suffering we are reminded that God is in control.

[Please] join us in a time of both lament and praise. We wish to express the heaviness on our hearts, to stand in solidarity with those who hurt, and to grieve and mourn for that which has been lost. We also celebrate that we serve a God who heals brokenness and despair, who hears our cries, and who has promised to heal our broken and hurting world.

Please pray.

Taken from https://www.crcna.org/news-and-views/council-delegates-urges-prayer-our-hurting-world